Air Jordan 20 Retro Performance Review

I first began playing in two different pairs of original Air Jordan XX’s… that wasn’t the best idea as that shoe apparently doesn’t age well. The translucent rubber used on the herringbone pods get slick with age while the IPS cushion system become hard over time, which caused quite a bit of pain during and after playing in the shoe. Not sure why, but that’s what ended up happening. The new pair from this year (2015), however, was good to go, and that is what I will base my review on. So, I would not recommend playing in a pair of OG’s. You can if you’d like too… but you won’t see me do it again.

Traction – When you first look at the traction provided, you can’t help but think that you’re going to receive some awesome traction with harringbone in place. Unfortunately, that wasn’t always the case. The herringbone is inconsistent, and gets clogged with debris easily. A quick wipe will help with all of that, but it still remains inconsistent overall. Surprisingly enough, the exterior sections of the outsole that feature no herringbone performed best. It’s not often that I wish a shoe didn’t have herringbone, but this is one of those times. Just so you’re not confusing things… inconsistent doesn’t translate into ‘bad’ traction… its just not consistently good/ great. So they get the job done, for the most part, but they do leave you wanting a bit more. Of course a pristine court would change all of this, but I don’t have the luxury of playing on that type of floor often… and I assume you don’t either.

Cushion – IPS – Independent Podular Suspension – is an interesting cushion, and I enjoy the hell out of it when it’s new. If you aren’t familiar with IPS, its basically a dual density foam system. You have the Phylon midsole with strategically placed pods of foam that are a little softer than the Phylon. Each pod has a few millimeters of space between it and the Phylon, and they protrude out of the shoe a few milliliters as well. So when you strike the floor, impact is absorbed and you’ll receive a slight bounce or response when pressure is relieved. The Air Jordan XXX2 was the first time the system was utilized, so while its nice on these, it gets better the further you get down the line of Air Jordan’s until you reach the air jordan 13 – the last time IPS was used in an Air Jordan signature model.

When the cushion is new, its amazing. It works as advertised, and if I had to compare it to something… it sort of feels like walking on marshmallow pillars. Actually, thats sort of what the system is. Think of each pod as a marshmallow. You step on it, and it will compress then bounce back into shape. Pretty cool; right?

Now, like I mentioned above, the cushion doesn’t age well… sort of like a marshmallow. They’ll eventually get firm and lose their bounce. So, if you don’t want to shell out the money for a new pair of XX’s, you can try to find the 2008 CountDown Pack version (they’re always priced well below retail on kd10sale.com) or possibly try locating a pair of Jordan Icons. Google those if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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